First 5 LA Makes Major Investment in Services for Young ChildrenJuly 12, 2012
| New plan will result in anti-obesity, health, dental care and vision care services and shelter for thousands of children 0-5 through a new, comprehensive funding strategy
LOS ANGELES----- The First 5 LA Commission today approved a spending plan that will enable it to spend millions of dollars of funds more quickly, and culminate in providing nearly $400 million in desperately needed services for children 0-5 in Los Angeles County.
"In these times of budget cuts and reduced revenues, First 5 LA is stepping up to make a significant difference for our youngest children," said Los Angeles County Supervisor and First 5 LA Commission Chair Zev Yaroslavsky. "Los Angeles County kids need these health, dental, vision and other services, and our Commission has taken a bold step in approving these actions today."
By combining nearly $200 million from its 2012-13 programs/operating budget approved in June with the $110 million for long-term contracts for existing programs and $70 million in new long-term investments approved today, the new First 5 LA funding strategy will accelerate the expansion and implementation of new and existing programs and start providing desperately needed services almost immediately. The elements of the plan approved today include:
The multi-year agreements with the County of Los Angeles, a major partner in First 5 LA's countywide projects, will allow additional projects to be added in the future without changes to those agreements. This will speed up the process of implementing new projects.
Focusing on services, the First 5 LA funds will be used for a wide variety of programs ranging from vision and dental screenings for some 200,000 young children to additional housing options for women and families with children 0-5 at risk of homelessness as well as trainings and other support for service providers. Yaroslavsky, who called for the new strategic funding effort, added, "We expect there to be other opportunities to do this in the future with other investments."
For nearly two years, First 5 LA was forced under AB 99 to hold on to over $400 million of funds which were under threat of a state government takeaway. The law
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